Coronavirus Skagit

With federal approval having been given Thursday for booster shots of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, the county-run vaccination and testing site at the Skagit County Fairgrounds is preparing to administer the shots starting Monday.

County spokesperson Danica Sessions said as is now being done with the Pfizer boosters, the fairgrounds site will be giving the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters by appointment only.

The expanding booster shot eligibility came Thursday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the state Department of Health gave its approval Friday.

Those who were given the Moderna vaccine are eligible for a booster if they got their second shot more than six months ago and are at least 65 or are at least 18 with certain underlying medical conditions or live or work in a high-risk setting.

Those who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for a booster as long as they’re over 18, and got their shot at least two months ago.

CDC rules also allow for mixing vaccines, meaning people can choose which of the vaccines they want for their booster.

Sessions said the county has had 25 appointment slots for boosters, and doesn’t plan to increase that number. Instead, staff are preparing for approval of the vaccine for ages 5 to 11, which is expected soon, she said.

“We’re not going to increase our booster capacity, just to pull it back in a couple weeks,” Sessions said.

She encouraged anyone who is eligible to seek out a booster, but said they should check availability at a local pharmacy or health care provider first to preserve capacity at the fairgrounds site.

A full list of vaccination providers is available at vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov.

Booster shots for the Pfizer vaccine were approved in September, and have been available at the county site since then.

The testing site is open from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at the fairgrounds, 501 Taylor St., Mount Vernon.

Information on booster appointments is available at skagitcounty.net/COVIDvaccine.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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